Sunday, April 15, 2012


Nature of Words, the Amirul Muqminin
Words are signposts
And gates to a matrix
Of complex emotions
And perceptions of knowledge
That man like to call experiences.

If you like, it is like a button,
But what the button triggers
When you push it entirely depends on you.
And there in a nutshell is all you need
To understand about the written and spoken words
And our God-given choices.

To some, God is akin to a tribal war God,
Jealous and Vengeful,
To others, God is the delicate ripple in a stream,
The laughter and crying of little babes,
And the glowing beauty of mothers.

To some, the music of God is
In the beating of the war drums,
And in the mad chants of a street mob,
To others, the music of God is
In the sounds of  birds and crickets,
In the rhythmic pulse of a Sufi assembly,
And in the music of Mozart, Bach and Tchaikovsky,
The Compositions of God’s Glory.

To some, God is the God of hate and hubris,
Despair and Ignorance, Alienation and Death,
To others, God is the God of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad,
God the Ever-Living, Holding the Leash of the Lion of God,
His most humble servant, the Caliph of Islam,
The Amirul Muqminin.

Now then… what do you feel when you say the word ‘God’?

Life is all about a journey in the meaning of words. And the Great Jihad (Jihad-ul Akbar) is all about the struggle in the meaning of words. It is a wholly personal and intimate struggle within oneself, and it begins with oneself - He who knows himself knows his Lord.

About a week ago, an old Sufi grandshaykh in a non-descript small village in Lefke, Cyprus announced the new Caliph of Islam, His Highness King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. And this is a special event, but only part of an ancient chain of events marking the eternal struggle in the meaning of words - What does it mean when you say the word 'God'? What is a Caliph? What is a Muslim? What is a Believer (Muqminin)? What is a man? A woman? What is meant by Heaven? What is Earth? What is the Devil? This jihad is not the monopoly of Muslims. This is your jihad too, the jihad of all mankind, as we seek to understand our place in the Cosmos, as we seek to define our rights and obligations towards each other as members of the human race.

The jihad in the meaning of words places all of mankind on the same level, because the essential subject matter, Mankind himself is exactly the same whether you are from Wyoming or Granada, from Moscow or Sao Paulo. Only our skin tone, our hair, our stature, our facial features and the colour of our eyes may be different. But these are only the earthly dresses that our souls wear... alas it has confounded some of us into thinking we are better than others, somehow more 'special' in the Eyes of God.

After a week of the declaration of the new Caliph, there is mostly silence, save for the stuttering and mutterings of a few souls on the internet. My only sadness, if you want to call it that, is Shaykh Raja Ashman Shah ibni Sultan Azlan Shah (Ku Ash) is not here to share this significant moment in history with his friends, followers and admirers. But if there is one thing which is taught in Sufi orders (indeed in mystic orders of all religion) is that nothing is coincidental. Everything happens to serve a purpose. In this near future, we shall all perhaps be privileged to witness the unmasking of deceit and the unveiling of truth. And this is always good news in our daily struggle in the meaning of words, don't you agree?

Oh wait. Before I leave I should answer the question - What do I feel when I say the word 'God'? Of course, I feel and think of you. For there is only one you - My brothers and sisters of all faith, united in the praise and worship of One God.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way.

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